Central government's latest idea for a new tax has come under heavy fire from the Balearics, in particular the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations (CAEB) which yesterday slammed proposals for a new port tax. Central government wants to introduce a new maritime tax for passengers and vehicles next year, but the Confederation fears that the levy will seriously damage the local economy. The Balearic government has already taken Madrid to task over the new fuel tax, which Palma is refusing to introduce and yesterday in an official statement issued by the CAEB, the port tax was described as unfair as it would cancel out the small amount of fiscal compensation the Balearics received for being an insular region dependent on sea and air communications. The new tax will also reduce the local business sector's level of competitiveness and in the end, as usual, it will be the consumer which pays the costs of the new tax. Ironically, during the time in which central government has taken Palma to the constitutional tribunal over the tourist tax, central government has unveiled plans for the new fuel and maritime taxes as well as admitting that an increase in airport taxes is unavoidable because of the high costs of introducing the new security measures.

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